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In Praise of Mailbox 

Editor:

I'm impressed that Jennifer Fumiko Cahill hasn't responded to all the letters her original piece ("It Might Be Time to Get Totally Motherfucking Unhinged," June 2) has generated. She said what she has said — it's good to know that she is confident in her opinion. Though I might disagree with an aspect of her method, I almost always agree with Jennifer's take on social issues. 

I consider letters to the editor a healthful American art form. It's unfortunate that some people get rather vociferous in their letters and responses — or even get feelings hurt. The beauty of public letters is that we have a platform to talk with each other — to exchange views, to critique, support, question and contradict. This is exactly what a healthy family does. As the wider Humboldt family, it should also help bind us together. My views in print have been challenged by people I adore. And I have certainly written to disagree with writers who I also happen to admire.

Whoever puts themselves out there in print should realize that criticism is just as likely as praise (often more so). Criticism is perhaps the more valuable of the two, since it gives one the chance to re-evaluate or confirm one's ideas.

Happily, letters to the editor remain in print and very alive here in Humboldt. I appreciate the sensitivity of the Journal's editorial staff in keeping truly hateful and repulsive writing out of their pages — while at the same time respecting and giving voice to the wide range of individual opinions that keep our county vibrant.

Alan Sanborn, Arcata

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